Monday, October 19, 2009
I've been making my own bread lately, among other things....and it's got me thinking about economies of scale. That is when I crank my oven to 450 for 40 minutes, I'm thinking how much energy will it take to bake this one loaf of bread. Economies of scale is an economics term that refers to the reduction in cost as production increases. Cost can also be seen as resources. In short that is to say, it is cheaper and less wasteful to bake 100 loaves of bread, than it is to bake 1 loaf. This fact leads to a sort of dissonance in my intent to become self sufficient, to take steps away from commercial dependence, and to help the environment. Economies of scale suggest that while it may be better for me to bake my own bread, it is better for the planet for me to buy it. Of course one must consider, the activities of the company making the bread, and the calories spent on distribution (that is consumption of fossil fuels to get the bread to the shelf). Hmmm, what is a girl to do?
Monday, October 5, 2009
I realize, that I have done little to supply the reader with the secrets that lay in my head, heart, and soul. SO I have decided to recast my mission statement. My new mission statement consists of well talking about 'mundane' shit like books, urban(E) foraging, pissed-off rants, and I guess anything else I damn well please. Instead of divulging my secrets, like any good relationship, I plan to get to know you better first. SO tell me something about yourself, and I'll give you a good bit of gossip.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I was recently lucky enough to travel to Cancun, Mexico. Fortunately it is an immensely beautiful place, unfortunately it's sole industry is tourism and pandering to the rich passing through, (this may be a generalization, but a hard pressed one). Speaking as someone who has worked in the service industry for almost 10 years-God help me, I found it terribly sad. Even at the local Wal-mart (also sad) were at least three different companies selling tourism packages-with the elusive discount for real Mexicans who have identification to prove it. The Yucatan Peninsula is a beautiful place with a history of beautiful and rich culture, it was disturbing to see it decimated by the flow of American cattle that passes through on a consistent basis. EVERYONE I met (in the streets of Centro, the streets of Isla de Mujeres, and Wal-mart) was working in the tourism industry in some capacity, even the Mayans who live far outside the tourism capital, make souvenirs and depend on The dollar. We met a man named Ishmael, who was very intelligent and experienced, was making a living driving a taxi and hustling tourists for impromtu tours. It may have been a fulfilling job that he enjoyed, but I couldn't help but think that is not the case for everyone. EVERYONE was also extremely nice, nice in a way I am not used to (I currently live in a cold unfeeling metropolis). I know the people of the Yucatan would be infinitely richer if tourism, chotskies, and Americans were banned from the area. I couldn't help feeling guilty for being there.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The other day I was taking garbage out a work. Yippie! And I had an extreme bout of deja vu. Now I am not sure if it was real deja vu, or something more like the NIN song "Everyday is Exactly the Same." At any rate that leads me to relationship talk which is infinitely more interesting and confusing! I have been experiencing what I call relationship ground hog day. This happens when one day you break up with your significant other, and then you wake up the next day and POOF! you are still together and your significant other ignores the fight had the night before. As a result, you (or I in this instance) go along with it, because the fight the night before was so draining you can't imagine having it all over again. And so the cycle continues...
Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Ok, so lately I've been really interested in gardening and farming. As such I've been reading this book "Raising Less Corn, More Hell: The Case for the Independent Farm and Against Industrial Food." by George Pyle. Amazing! Reading this book should be a prerequisite to eat in America. It gives a wonderful account of why food in America is so cheap, why American farms are poor and dwindling, and how our system impacts "the global economy." I've also read "Lords of the Harvest" by Daniel Charles, its focus on how American corporations are addressing their belief that starvation occurs because of lack of food-their answer-frankenfood. One of Pyle's points, brain-child of Nobel laurate Amartya Sen, is the fact that people never starve because of lack of food, they starve due to lack of money to buy food. For example, say I am a farmer and I have a wonderful harvest, and my neighbor is starving. I do not give my neighbor food because I can sell it and make money, money he does not have. So I make money for my work, my neighbor starves, American consumers benefit from cheap imported products, and American producers suffer because consumers can find cheap substitutes for the product I am trying to sell. Pyle also describes the problem of the monosopy in the farming market (too many producers-one mega buyer) which drives down prices below the cost of production-and so we have the American farm subsidies. These are gross oversimplifications of what is detailed in the book, but a taste of what drew me in. As I look to the future, I am about to graduate college with a degree in Accounting, I am thinking about taking some time to join the small farm movement to gain experience. My hope that I can gain the knowledge to man some land of my own, and produce my own food. But that does not negate my sympathies for the small farmer-who depends on and cares for his land. He does not rape it as many agricultural corporations do. I am thinking about the impact of a system that just doesn't work. I am thinking what if something could be done?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Well, it's official my bicycle "old faithful" has screwed me royally yet again. It's like it knows when I don't have my kit on me. Last week, the pedal fell off whilst I was miles away from home. Fear not! I was in Wicker Park, there are bike shops everywhere. Not so fast...half of them have since closed their doors or are only open when they feel, apparently Wednesday at 2 in the afternoon is an odd time for a bike shop to be open? Well, I walked about a mile, and scored a nasty looking bruise from the spike where my pedal should have been. Well the man at Quick Release couldn't be nicer and he fixed me up, and off I went. Thinking old faithful was in good shape again, I took her out Monday to do all sorts of errands. What was I thinking!?! I ended up with super flat extraordinaire! And no tools! So I walked from one side of the city to the other w/ bike and oodles of groceries to a bike shop I knew of. Surprise, surprise-the store had a giant for lease sign posted and was completely empty. Better luck next time. Eventually I got my business taken care of. I am such a man! Everyone I've talked to berated me for not calling, "I would have just picked you up!" Why, oh why do I feel I need to be so goddamn self sufficient? There are two lessons here 1) "always be prepared," 2)to ride the super duper new fancy bike I've been given, and not the shit-mobile.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Well this is the beginning of the end. A signing in, and a signing off. I've just created this thing, and am listening to fn my bloody valentine! I have to be up in 5hrs for the job I hate just like the rest of ya's. I will quit for sure, any day now. And since no one reads these things, I will feel free to write anything and everything. Including my crazy lady rants about things I have absolutely no business thinking about.